Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Addendum to Hurriyet column, Life, debt and death

Here are the promised quotes / anecdotes from the a dozen or so people I talked to (bankers, bureucrats , consumers). More or less random order...

Oh, BTW, please don't ask me anything about my sources, such as whether they work for YKB or BRSA. If you plan to, please look at 00.35-0.45 of this great Mark Wahlberg clip from my favorite Scorcese movie first- movie buffs, I can hear you groaning, but Jack, Leo, Marky Mark, Matt and the supporting cast (Ray Winstone, Martin Sheen and Andy Garcia in particular) just stole the show... WOW, what a cast! Anyway, I don't want to be impolite, but I don't want anyone to get fired for ratting (1.07-1.21) on their company or violating the public employee act, either.

Anyway on to business:

They teach us to lie (private banker)

The bankers say that, but then continue to lie. The main problem, as in the developed world, is the bonus system (bureucrat).

My bank did not let me to talk at a conference. With so much lies, I am not surprised. (branch manager)

The Bank has no heart- when I ask something for them from the headquarters, all they want to know is whether I will continue working with them (branch manager)

This is a general problem; we are sorry that you have brought it up through us (YKB executive voicing regret at your friendly neighborhood economist for his latest Daily News column).

In addition, several bankers noted that they were ordered to cut down credit lines during the 2008-2009 crisis, and as a result had a lot of customers going bankrupt. But bankers also note that the situation would have been much worse if there wasn't so much competition in the sector.

I also got a very interesting anecdote, unrelated to this topic: A branch manager told me that banks are playing hide-and-seek with the BRSA and the government. Since the government wants to decrease credit growth, they have decided to advertise higher interest rates on their web sites. But when you actually call them up, they will still give you the low rate:)... Is anyone from the BRSA reading this, BTW?:) I mean, I hate dirigisme, but I don't want to be taken for an idiot, either:)....

Last, but not definitely the least, here is my closet-Carsi fan friend Sinan Akkaya, who is BTW the Almeida of my gang, quoting Brecht: "What's breaking into a bank compared with founding a bank?" BTW, the original German is "Was ist ein Einbruch in eine Bank gegen die Gründung einer Bank?" I have been trying to convince him to start die WeissFels-VerrücktDerwisch Bande (hint- translate the words to Turkish) with me, so maybe I'll achieve my goal soon...

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